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The acclaimed 2018 Palme D'Or winner 

Year: 2018 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda 
Starring: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Mayu Matsuoka  
An image from Shoplifters

Taking home a number of Film Festival Awards, including the Palme D’Or at Cannes, comes this unusual film by Kore-Eda Hirokazu. In a little corner of Tokyo, Osamu and Noboyu live in poverty with their ‘family’ - other outcasts like themselves, who look after each other and eke out a living by stealing, and any other activities they can find to make money (usually bordering on, or crossing into, illegality).

One night, they find a shivering child abandoned on the street, and though their home barely has room for the five of them, they take her home, giving her a meal and a place to sleep for the night. Since she won’t speak they can’t take her back to her home (and since they suspect that is where her many cuts and bruises are from), decide to keep her. After some time, ‘Rin’ as they call her, starts to come out of her shell and everything seems right with the world. When suddenly her biological family are on TV, and begging for their child’s abductors to give her back…

The director recognises the moral ambiguity of their characters, but never stands in judgement. As the film progresses, you discover the reasons behind each characters’ actions, which is often affecting, but stops short of being overly tragic. The script is subtle, and the direction deft, but there are some raw moments delivering a punch straight to the gut. Exploring what truly constitutes family, Shoplifters is essential viewing.

Gail Marshall

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Screenings of this film:

2018/2019 Spring Term (digital)